By Steve Mosco
A man initially involved in a robbery case now faces charges in the death of a witness who testified against him, the Queens district attorney said.
DA Richard Brown said Shytique Kelly, 21, of Arverne, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tysheen Coakley, 21, in May. Kelly is also charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal contempt and tampering with a witness, according to a criminal complaint.
He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted, the DA said.
“In addition to the second-degree murder charge for which the defendant was originally arrested, the grand jury has charged the defendant with first-degree murder under subparagraph (1)(a)(v) of Penal Law 125.27, which states, in part, that ‘the victim was a witness to a crime committed on a prior occasion and had previously testified in a criminal action or proceeding and the killing was committed for the purpose of exacting retribution for such prior testimony,’” Brown said.
According to the complaint, Kelly approached Coakley and two other individuals at the intersection of 110th Avenue and 160th Street and fired in the direction of the three individuals, hitting Coakley in the chest and killing him. Jazmin Guillebeaux, 21, of Rosedale, faces charges that she assisted Kelly in carrying out the murder by driving him to and from the crime scene, the DA said.
Guillebeaux is charged with second-degree murder, criminal facilitation and hindering prosecution and faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, according to the criminal complaint.
The district attorney further alleged that Kelly had made numerous threats against the victim’s life prior to firing the fatal shot. The complaint also said Kelly had made threats to other unnamed witnesses in the original robbery case of June 2011.
“The defendant’s alleged actions strike at the very heart of our justice system and must be severely punished as both an example of our commitment to protecting the integrity of the criminal justice system and to punish those who engage in such conduct,” the district attorney said.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.